Conservatism Marches On

The Wilson Quarterly, Spring 2007 | Go to article overview

Conservatism Marches On


THE SOURCE: "Is Conservatism Finished?" by Wilfred M. McClay, in Commentary, Jan. 2007.

THE REPUBLICAN LOSSES IN the 2006 midterm elections are just the latest news to have set many conservative pundits to sounding the death knell for their movement. The title of one of the many recent books in this vein labels the lead culprit: Conservatives Betrayed: How George W. Bush and Other Big Government Republicans Hijacked the Conservative Cause, by Richard Viguerie. According to Viguerie, Bush may have "talked like a conservative to win our votes, but [he] never governed like a conservative." Bnsh's foreign- and domestic-policy stumbles, most notably the war in Iraq, have sabotaged "the idyllic spirit of unity at home and cooperation abroad that allegedly prevailed during the Cold War years under [Ronald] Reagan," writes Wilfred M. McClay, historian and professor of humanities at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. But does all this mean that the conservative movement is really finished?

McClay believes that the "modest" election victory for the Democrats, which yielded only a narrow majority in both houses of Congress, does not "justify the claim that conservatism lost." He points to the easy triumph of independent senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut "over his more liberal antiwar challenger" and the victories of "such relatively conservative Democrats as James Webb in Virginia and Robert Casey Jr. in Pennsylvania" as signs that no major ideological shift is under way. Indeed, McClay says, "the American electorate has ... moved slowly but steadily in a conservative direction since 1968."

McClay also questions the validity of the conservatives' charges against Bush, each of which "rests on some a priori definition of what conservatism is and what it is not." Jeffrey Hart, for instance, author of The Making of the American Conservative Mind (2006), speaks of conservatism "as a realistic and non-ideological approach to governance," and chides Bush for overstepping his authority. But McClay cites many instances when leaders took actions "that involved the transgression of a 'conservative' principle for the sake of broadly conservative ends," such as Abraham Lincoln's suspension of basic civil liberties during the Civil War. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Conservatism Marches On
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.